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Eating Animals | [Jonathan Safran Foer]

Eating Animals

Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between omnivore and vegetarian. But on the brink of fatherhood - facing the prospect of having to make dietary choices on a child's behalf - his casual questioning took on an urgency His quest for answers ultimately required him to visit factory farms in the middle of the night, dissect the emotional ingredients of meals from his childhood, and probe some of his most primal instincts about right and wrong.
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Publisher's Summary

Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between omnivore and vegetarian. But on the brink of fatherhood - facing the prospect of having to make dietary choices on a child's behalf - his casual questioning took on an urgency.

His quest for answers ultimately required him to visit factory farms in the middle of the night, dissect the emotional ingredients of meals from his childhood, and probe some of his most primal instincts about right and wrong.

Brilliantly synthesizing philosophy, literature, science, memoir, and his own detective work, Eating Animals explores the many fictions we use to justify our eating habits - from folklore to pop culture to family traditions and national myth - and how such tales can lull us into a brutal forgetting. Marked by Foer's profound moral ferocity and unvarying generosity, as well as the vibrant style and creativity that made his previous books, Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, widely loved, Eating Animals is a celebration and a reckoning, a story about the stories we've told - and the stories we now need to tell.

©2009 Jonathan Safran Foer; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"The everyday horrors of factory farming are evoked so vividly, and the case against the people who run the system presented so convincingly, that anyone who, after reading Foer's book, continues to consume the industry's products must be without a heart, or impervious to reason, or both." (J. M. Coetzee)

"A work of moral philosophy...After reading this book, it's hard to disagree [with Foer]." (San Francisco Chronicle)

"For a hot young writer to train his sights on a subject as unpalatable as meat production and consumption takes raw nerve. What makes Eating Animals so unusual is vegetarian Foer's empathy for human meat eaters, his willingness to let both factory farmers and food reform activists speak for themselves, and his talent for using humor to sweeten a sour argument." (O, The Oprah Magazine)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (463 )
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  •  
    Justin Sandy Hook, CT, United States 04-29-12
    Justin Sandy Hook, CT, United States 04-29-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Turned me vegetarian"

    This book is powerful, beautifully narrated, and actually ended up starting me on a longer string of research about what it really means to be vegetarian in the 21st century. Foer has always been among my favorite authors (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close had me in tears in the first few chapters) and he made the switch from novelist to journalist extremely well. This is an important book if you want to learn more about where your meals are actually coming from. Read this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jacquelyn Florida 02-05-12
    jacquelyn Florida 02-05-12 Member Since 2010

    Artist, Yogi, lover of strange books

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If you eat food, you MUST read this book"

    It is time for human beings to take responsibility for the things they put in their bodies. No more can we continue to buy these products and say "Well, I didn't know." the information is out there, we are all adults and have a responsibly to educate ourselves. By continuing to support these practices we are condoning it and are there for responsible. Eating animals is a good place to start because it is a very balanced picture of what is wrong with our farming system. There are parts that are hard to hear for sure. But we owe it to our fellow creatures on this earth to treat them with fairness. We owe it to ourselves to know what we are putting in our mouths and feeding to our children. Every adult on this earth should read this book. Seriously.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn Beverly, MA, United States 12-05-11
    Kathryn Beverly, MA, United States 12-05-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Great... if you don't mind being nauseous!"

    I became a pescetarian in 2007 due environmental, animal, and health reasons. I thought I knew about all the terrible things they do to animals, but I was so wrong. For example, I knew that people threw live male chicks into dumpsters to die, but in this book I learned that they actually grind them up live in addition to putting them in the dumpsters.
    I had to stop listening to this book a few times because it made me sick and eventually stopped listening to it because I was afraid of vomiting on my way to work. Yeah, it's gross, but I think everyone should know what they're eating.
    And by the way, I have stopped buying commercial eggs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lissa San Diego, CA, United States 11-28-11
    Lissa San Diego, CA, United States 11-28-11
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    "This book changed my life!"

    I began listening to this audiobook with trepidation, thinking it was going to be a yuppie rant against eating meat. But to my surprise it was an intelligent humorous view on the "meat industry" and also the cultural connections we have with eating. I admit I walked around nauseas from listening to descriptions of factory farming and since then I haven't been able to eat meat or fish. I began to actually think about what I was eating and how it got onto my plate.
    I have read this author's other work and liked them well enough. Being Jewish I could relate to his references to his grandmother, family and food. I laughed out loud in several places.
    This book is not for the faint hearted but it will open your eyes to the reality of factory farming and what we put into our bodies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steve kearny, NJ, United States 09-21-11
    steve kearny, NJ, United States 09-21-11 Member Since 2009

    Addicted to Audible since 2009

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    "Not bad"

    This book wasn't what I expected it was going to be but then again, it wasn't bad either. Just be sure not to listen while eating food that had parents A.K.A flesh as some parts may gross you out when you find out how cruel the corporate killing can be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gabriel Medford, MA, United States 06-30-11
    Gabriel Medford, MA, United States 06-30-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Great book with some nutritional misinformation"

    This book provides an incredibly enlightening moral analysis of eating meat and really does do a good non-biased job at it.

    Unfortunately, some of the nutritional assumptions are just plain wrong.

    What you get out of it: eat meat from local/sustainable/moral sources, not factory farms.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg austin, TX, United States 06-10-11
    Greg austin, TX, United States 06-10-11 Member Since 2007
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    "very good"

    i was skeptical, usually when a book about social issues is as popular as this one it turns out to filled with naive pie in the sky thinking and tons and tons of verbal filagry. but this was very good, lots of facts, lots of questions. a bit to much personal musing by the author for my tastes. but all in all well worth the credit. i dont think i will ever forget the section about sh*t soup. no more chicken for me thanks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Reich Northern, CA 03-07-11
    Chris Reich Northern, CA 03-07-11 Member Since 2005

    Business Physicist and Astronomer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Some Interesting Point, Not Well Presented"

    At first I thought it was just me but friends have made the same comment about this book: it jumps all over the issue and never really scores a solid point except perhaps that the factory farm needs to be less cruel which has nothing to do with going vegan---as repeatedly pointed out by the author himself.

    There is some interesting information in the book if you are willing to sort through Mr. Foer's struggle with what seem to be some personal issues.

    It's not what you think---It won't shock you into giving up meat. It may not even effect you except you'll be upset with how food animals are raised---though you have little control over that process.

    Chris Reich

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
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    Melissa Toronto, Ontario, Canada 10-18-10
    Melissa Toronto, Ontario, Canada 10-18-10 Member Since 2007
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    "(Not) Eating Animals"

    Although--at times--I felt as though I were being scolded for eating meat it was a well argued thesis against factory farming and fishing; I did learn a lot, though at times I think it's a great time to buy this one (close to Halloween). Some gruesome images are likely to stay with me for a while.
    It is very manipulative, bookended by personal eulogy to his grandmother and memoir re: new fatherhood as his motivation to look into where meat comes from, because it matters more to him that he knows what he is feeding his child than himself.
    Very literary and moving in many ways, but also includes pages upon pages of footnotes, essays by others, and philosophical digressions. Overall, it's a very full book and worth reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tiffany Los Angeles, CA, United States 08-30-10
    Tiffany Los Angeles, CA, United States 08-30-10
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    "An exceptional must read for anyone who eats food"

    An exceptional book that has a compelling message. I've recommended this book to everyone I know and will continue to do so. A completely eyeopening story of food production and what the meat industry and factory farming are doing to the environment, our food, and our health. My husband and I, both of us happy omnivores have become vegan since reading this book and are happier and healthier than we've ever been. I thank Jonathan Safran Foer for bringing this information to the light of the public and think more people should know about the horrors going on and the reality of the food they put into their bodies on a daily basis. Jonathan is not only a wonderful author but a great narrator. The best credit I've ever used!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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